The Uniflame GAD860SP Slate and Marble Tile Gas Fire Pit is propane-powered; it cannot accommodate real wood and as a result is much easier to use than a wood-burning fire pit. Rather than chopping wood and building a fire, users just insert a propane tank and press the igniter. However, it's also much heavier, pricier and, according to many users, far more difficult to assemble. Also, it cannot accommodate real wood, and some users say it doesn't really burn much cleaner than a wood fire.
Propane only. Users agree that the Uniflame GAD860SP Slate and Marble Tile Gas Fire Pit is beautiful to watch, especially since the flames come on instantly and remain constant, unlike a wood fire that takes time to get going. However, they disagree about how much heat this fireplace actually produces. Some owners report it puts out "plenty of heat," while others complain they only feel warmth when right next to the fire. One reviewer at HomeDepot.com warns it can't match the heat output of a propane patio heater, but other users argue it's better because the heat is dispersed right where you're sitting, rather than high overhead.
A couple of quirks. Assembling the Uniflame GAD860SP can be tricky. Although some users were able to put it together on their own with no problems, others report that it's definitely a two-person job that will take at least a couple of hours. Once assembled, the fireplace is quite easy to light and comes with handy features like a waterproof cover and a slide-out tray for the propane tank. However, several users complain the fire produces too much smoke and soot during use, as if it were burning wood rather than gas. Also, the fire pit is very heavy (140 pounds), making it hard to move once assembled.
Sturdy construction. Most users describe the Uniflame GAD860SP as very sturdy. In over 200 owner-written reviews, we saw only a few reports of mechanical problems. The fireplace is backed by a one-year warranty, but we did not find any reports describing Uniflame's customer service quality. The fireplace requires a 20-pound propane tank (Est. $48), so regular refueling will add to the cost of ownership. One user reports going through a tank in a single week, but that was after several hours of use on maximum flame each night, which he admits "isn't normal use."
The Uniflame GAD860SP Slate and Marble Tile Gas Fire Pit has more than 135 reviews at Amazon.com, with an overall rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. Owners praise its heat output, sturdy construction and beautiful looks. Their main complaint: It's "a nightmare" to assemble.
Review: Blue Rhino GAD860SP LP Gas Outdoor Firebowl with Slate/Marble Mantel, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2013
HomeDepot.com contains 70 customer reviews for the Uniflame GAD860SP, averaging 4.5 stars out of 5. Owners are split over the ease of assembly; however, they agree that the finished product is solid and looks great.
Review: Uniflame Slate and Marble Tile Gas Fire Pit, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of July 2013